Route J is not so scary

I live about 10 miles away from BikePA route J, which makes it the closest piece of “official” bike infrastructure to my house. I’ve never ridden on it before, because it’s just a bunch of signs on a really busy 5-lane highway, and I was afraid of getting run over by a semi.

I was feeling reckless today, and I braved the fog and drizzle to gave it a go. It’s not nearly as scary as it seems from a car. The shoulders are about 10 feet wide, and separated from the traffic with a rumble strip.

The 10 miles of 11/15 between my house and where route J starts is a terrible, no-shoulder piece of highway, so I drove to the Haldeman Island Wildlife area parking lot, and rode from there.

Haldeman Island Wildlife Management Area

“Wildlife Management Area” means it’s a place you can go hunting for ducks and geese in the river.

My bike on the bridge to Haldeman Island

Anyways, I rode north, past seedy motels, porno shops, and truck stops.

Stardust Motel - $38 / night!

I didn’t get very far before the rain started coming down pretty hard, so I turned around at the Clemson Island Wildlife Management (goose hunting) area.

Clemson Island

I’m glad this route isn’t as scary as I thought it was. I think there’s a picnic area a few miles north of where I turned around. I’m going to try to find it next time.

New BikePA Route: J2

I was driving around Lemoyne the other day, and I noticed that PennDot has put up signs for a new BikePA bicycling route.

So, I turned on the GPS and followed the signs to see where they went. The route goes almost the whole way to Gettysburg, connecting Route J with Route S.

PennDot hasn’t updated their maps in ages, but OpenCycleMap always delivers the goods.


BikePA Route J2 Map from Opencyclemap.org

Once you get out of Mechanicsburg, it’s a very scenic ride. It runs for about 30 miles through farms and apple orchards. There are a couple of enormous hills, so be sure to wear comfy shoes for pushing your bike uphill.

Here’s a GPX file of the route, in case you’d like to put it in your GPS or mapping software.